Flash MX 2004... rich Internet applications...?

Two weeks vacation in Italy are a terrific opportunity to dive into technology that you know could be interesting, but have never time to look into during “normal” life. This Christmas vacation was dedicated to the possibilities of Flash MX 2004 to build rich Internet applications. As a Microsoft tools user I already looked with much interest to the possibilities of the usage of Windows Forms applications within IE and the future developments that Longhorn will bring to us in the arena of web based applications. Problem with these technologies are the fact that you need to run Windows and have the .Net framework installed on the client PC, or the fact that although looking very promising release will be far in the future. The possibilities of Flash MX 2004 and the great penetration of Flash (> 500.000.000 downloads!?) on multiple operating systems (Linux, Windows, Mac) and multiple form factors (pocket PC, mobile telephones etc.) did get me interested and I did write my first little custom component that provides a treeview of the SharePoint Portal Server 2003 area structure connecting to a custom SharePoint webservice (written in good old c# ofcourse). A lot of fun!  I will cleanup my code and post it soon to show you the power of the new ActionScript incarnation (internal programming language of Flash) based on Javascript.


  • Flash makes a great webservices client for all the reasons you list, Flash MX 2004 is a nice step forward.

  • I always looked at Flash as a nice animators package, not really useful for more serious "business". I think I realy misjudged it in the past. I'm really interested in the 2004 version due to it's better support for type safe development and object oriented features (although you could already do this in good old Javascript through some strange "proto" mechanism), it's form based approach (I never really got used to working with timelines, I worked with Macromedia Director in the past=8 years ago!) and it's possibilites to create reusable components.

  • Brilliant and humble post. It's not often that we Microsoft developers can humble ourselves enough to accept other development technologies/mediums.

    I applaud your post.

    btw: this is an awesome blog.

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